Holding the Line: Woman in the Great Arizona Mine Strike of 1983

Holding the Line: Woman in the Great Arizona Mine Strike of 1983

by Barbara Kingsolver
     
 

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Novelist Barbara Kingsolver began her writing career with Holding the Line. It is the story of how women's lives were transformed by an eighteen-month strike against the Phelps Dodge Copper Corporation. Set in the small mining towns of Arizona, the story is partly oral history and partly social criticism, exploring the process of empowerment which occurs when people… See more details below

Overview

Novelist Barbara Kingsolver began her writing career with Holding the Line. It is the story of how women's lives were transformed by an eighteen-month strike against the Phelps Dodge Copper Corporation. Set in the small mining towns of Arizona, the story is partly oral history and partly social criticism, exploring the process of empowerment which occurs when people work together as a community. For this new edition, Kingsolver has revised the first chapter and written a new introduction, which explains the book's particular importance. "Holding the Line was a watershed event for me because it taught me to pay attention: to know the place where I lived. Since then I've written other books, most of them set in the vine-scented, dusty climate of Southwestern class struggle.... My hope for you, as a person now holding this book, is that the reading will bring you some of what the writing brought to me. Whether or not you can claim any interest in a gritty little town smack in the middle of nowhere that hosted a long-ago mine strike, I hope in the end you will care about its courage and sagacity."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Several mining towns have grown up around the rich Morenci copper pit in southern Arizona, each ruled to a certain extent by the Phelps Dodge Copper Corporation. In 1983, the company tried to freeze wages and deny the miners cost-of-living protection. The resulting strike lasted a long and miserable 18 months; management ultimately won its bid to have the union decertified but its business was damaged in the process, and the strikers took some comfort in a series of legal victories that, suggesting a discriminatory pattern of law enforcement, pk kept the labor activists out of jail. answers gs's question below/pk Journalist and novelist Kingsolver ( The Bean Trees ) has written a stirring partisan account of the role the area's women played in holding the strike pk linewhat line?gs and in keeping families and communities together, despite the strike's failure. The women tell remarkable stories of their lives and actions, displaying the strength that led one corporate official to remark, ``If we could just get rid of these broads, we'd have it made.'' This book pays powerful tribute to their resolve and passion for economic justicewhat about the cops who discriminated in the strikers' favor???gs//doesn't seem within the scope of this book--rl/i've answered this above/pk . (Nov.)
Library Journal
In 1983, after the Phelps Dodge Copper Corporation demanded an unprecedented amount of pay and benefits cuts, a union consortium, consisting of mostly Hispanic women, held a strike in four small Arizona mining towns. The women's lives were transformed. Their culture had confined them to limited roles; they now became leaders, strategists, spokespersons, and morale-boosters. The first-person narratives of these women dominate this account of the 18-month strike, written by novelist Kingsolver, author of The Bean Trees (LJ 2/1/88) and Homeland and Other Stories ( LJ 5/15/89). While this format is interesting, fewer quotations and additional industry and strike background would have made the account more effective. Despite these reservations, the book will interest readers of labor studies, women's studies, and community/ethnic studies.-- Frieda Shoenberg Rozen, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park
Booknews
The story of how women in several small towns in Arizona sustained the strike for 18 months. Cloth edition (unseen), $26. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"The women tell remarkable stories of their lives and actions. . . . This book pays powerful tribute to their resolve and passion for economic justice."—Publishers Weekly

"Like Kingsolver's fiction, Holding the Line is a beautifully written book grounded on the strength of its characters—only this time the characters are real."—Journal of the Southwest

"Holding the Line is both clear and emotional, the story of women who try to get a fair shake in their workplace and realize they can stop at nothing short of control over their entire lives. This is a report from the trenches of where the political meets the personal."—John Sayles

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780875461557
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
11/01/1989
Pages:
213
Lexile:
1020L (what's this?)

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